Dear Members and Friends of Idlewild Presbyterian Church,
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and following consultation with physicians, public health professionals, and colleagues in parish ministry, the Session approved the following preventative measures on Friday, March 13:
- We will not gather for in-person worship on Sunday, March 15 and 22. Rather, a worship service will be available on Livestream and broadcast on the radio (96.1FM). Worshippers will be encouraged to “gather virtually.” Worshippers from other Memphis PC(USA) congregations will also be tuning in, and their clergy will share in worship leadership.
- Beginning on Monday, March 16 and continuing for two weeks, the Idlewild campus will be mostly shut down. Idlewild employees that can work from home will be encouraged to do so. Custodial, maintenance, kitchen and other staff people whose work is building-dependent will be encouraged to make personal decisions regarding their presence based on age, underlying health factors, etc. Employees will continue to be compensated for their regular schedule. Meetings and events at the church will continue digitally or be postponed. The Idlewild website will have a link with all COVID-19 updates related to church programming.
- Beginning on Monday, March 16 and continuing for two weeks, the Early Enrichment Center at Idlewild will suspend operations.
The week of March 22, we will evaluate how to proceed.
These measures are not taken lightly, but with the abundance of precaution. They are the result of great deliberation and collaboration, and the confidence that the best and most effective way to contain the virus and protect the most vulnerable is to practice “social distancing,” limiting person-to-person contact.
These measures differ from the ones communicated on Wednesday, which reveals the dynamism of this situation. We will continue to-go meals for More Than A Meal on Thursday afternoons, and seek other ways in which we can assist the most vulnerable in our community. We will continue to listen deeply and pray fervently, day by day, in order to make the decisions that are best for our community.
The Reverend Anne H.K. Apple, Executive Associate Pastor and Transitional Head of Staff
The Reverend Sara B. Dorrien-Christians, Transitional Associate Pastor
Heather Chauhan, M.D. and Clerk of Session